Who We Are
Our mission is to inspire and empower individuals and communities through action, partnership and financial support. We are particularly focused on UK textiles, charity governance, and philanthropy – through The Clothworkers’ Foundation and beyond. We achieve this through:
- Championing Textiles: We are a leading supporter of UK textiles, developing partnerships that enable us to invest in and support education, academic research and innovation, skills development, training, textiles design, heritage and conservation.
- Fostering Community: Our Members come together in friendship, giving their time and expertise to serve others and to make a positive and sustainable impact in the City of London and beyond – by serving on our Court, as trustees or school governors, and volunteering.
- Making a Difference: We direct our resources towards promoting opportunity and empowering people and communities. We are able to achieve this through our own initiatives and partnerships with appropriate organisations.
Our vision is to build on our history and heritage of philanthropy and fellowship, becoming increasingly responsive, adaptive to change, outward looking and ambitious.
We want our members to be proud of being part of our livery company and to see the need to encourage and nurture the next generation of Clothworkers while inspiring each other to deliver our best. In all the work that we do, internally and externally, we aim to be PROGRESSIVE, COLLABORATIVE, and SUSTAINABLE.
The Clothworkers’ Company was founded in 1528, following a merger of The Fullers’ Company and The Shearmen’s Company. One of the ‘Great Twelve Livery Companies’ of the City of London, our original aim was to promote the craft of clothworking, supervise the training of apprentices and welfare of members, and protect standards of workmanship.
Today, members help us fulfil our civic duties to the City of London, manage our affairs and meet our charitable objectives. Livery members are expected to participate in the living history and traditions of the City – including the election of the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and Aldermen – and to serve on our Court of Assistants or committees. They invest thousands of voluntary hours each year supporting the governance and management of our affairs. Responsible stewardship of our financial assets – principally based on historic property bequests and investments – has enabled us to pursue ambitious philanthropic goals.
While few members are now involved in The Company’s root trade, we continue to support textiles by funding technical education, skills development, innovative design, the conservation of textiles heritage and craft skills, and more. Additionally, we have directed a significant amount of our grant making in recent years towards championing good governance and trusteeship, and fostered a more resilient non-profit sector in the UK. We have nurtured a common purpose among members by encouraging them to participate in trusteeship and school governance, sharing their experience and expertise with their communities.
Throughout our history, we have remained committed to supporting educational and philanthropic initiatives in the Square Mile and beyond. Although we deliver some of our charitable support directly, the primary vehicle for our philanthropy is The Clothworkers’ Foundation (registered charity no. 274100). Founded in 1977, The Clothworkers' Foundation has awarded grants in excess of £165 million to support people and communities throughout the UK, particularly those facing marginalisation or disadvantage.